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September 27, 2008

presidential debate redux: a puppet postscript

Filed under: q.s. quickies — Tags: , , , — David Giacalone @ 11:00 pm

A post-debate haunting … 

When I pulled the O’mama puppet off my finger Friday night and headed for bed, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep well.  The First Finger Puppet Presidential Debate — between Blue candidate O’mama and Red candidate McCurse (see our prior post) — ended with too many things unsaid by my candidate O’mama.  So many missed opportunities to put the grouchy old-guy puppet on the spot by asking questions that needed to be asked — and not just to keep that whiny moderator happy.

As I tossed and replayed the debate in my sleepy head, a dreamlike O’mama Puppet came into focus on the tip of my finger and then reappeared at my MacBook screen.  I knew what had to be done, although I’m no political strategist or analyst, and rarely play one at my weblog: I had to spend a few minutes composing those unasked questions — writing them down, now, so they’d be ready for the second debate in October.

McCurse’s taunts spurred me on.  .. ..

  • McCurse: You’d accept defeat in Eyeraq, O’mama.  Our nation must have victory. You are naive and irresponsible, and would rather lose a war than an election.

. O’Mama:  Just what do you mean by “victory” McCurse?  The Amerifan people deserve to know.  Do you mean the end of all sectarian and insurgent violence?  Sects and ethnic groups that are disarmed and cooperating?  Fair elections and a stable democracy?  A compliant “puppet” government with Amerifan military bases entrenched?  The end of Eyeran’s influence and activity in Eyeraq?  Secure oil resources for Amerifa?

How long will it take to achieve your so-called victory?  How many dollars and lives?  Can your vision of victory ever be achieved without a large, continuing Amerifan military presence in Eyeraq?  And hasn’t the Prime Minister of Eyeraq endorsed the concept of a timetable for removing American troops?

  • McCurse:  Our splurge worked and you won’t admit it, even though you said it succeeded beyond your wildest dreams.  You’re stubborn and naive and are willing to come home from Eyeraq in defeat.

O’mama:  Sure, McCurse, one aspect of the splurge worked.  Sending lots more of our brave sons and daughters helped reduce violence.  But, wasn’t most of the success achieved and achievable by deploying the troops already there more effectively?

What about all the other goals of the splurge?  How much closer to sustainable political stability and maturity are the government of Eyeraq and the opposing factions?

More important, how long will the successes survive post-splurge?  You and the generals call the gains fragile. If they’re temporary, did we just postpone the turmoil, wasting years and lives and dollars, and permitting the Eyeraqis to lean on us rather than solve their own problems?

Would the nation and the world be more secure from terrorism if the splurge troops and resources had been used in Arfghanistan?  Are the successes worth the continued animosity of so much of the world?

  • McCurse: We’re winning in Eyeraq, but you would have let us leave in defeat and disgrace, and will forfeit victory by pulling out too soon.

.. O’mama: Our own generals refuse to say we’re winning in Eyeraq. What do you mean by winning, McCurse?  Is “winning” like the victory you and your Party’s President said we “won” in Arfghanistan a couple years ago?

  • McCurse:  I don’t care what that moderator says, you ask too many questions, O’mama.

O’Mama: Fine. One question: What do you mean by victory in Eyeraq?

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any actual debate, living presidential candidates (e.g., Barack Obama, John McCain), or countries (i.e., America, Iraq, Iran) is purely coincidental and unintended.

post debate –
my index finger

… by dagosan

afterwords (September 28, 2008): In a parallel universe, during this morning’s edition of Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw had this discussion with Steve Schmidt, Sen. John McCain’s chief campaign strategist:

MR. BROKAW: All right.  . . . Let’s go back to this business about winning in Iraq, if we can. In fact, a number of people on the Republican have–side have said that we’re winning. But in an interview with the BBC, General David Petraeus said he did not know that he would ever use the word victory about Iraq. “This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant a flag and go home to a victory parade. … it’s not” a “war with a simple slogan.” So isn’t it misleading in many ways for Senator McCain to say we are winning and we’ll come home when we have declared victory?

MR. SCHMIDT: Well, absolutely not. Here is what victory means in Iraq. It means an Iraqi government that is able to protect its borders, and it means an Iraqi government that is able to protect its people, then moves forward on its path to democracy.

Meanwhile, on today’s The Chris Matthews Show, BBC’s Katty Kay said her international correspondents tell her that many Iraqis would have a very hard time recognizing the Iraq described by McCain in his version of surge success (click for the video).

…  thanks to Fold US Candidates … 

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